Category Archives: Shikan-taza (只管打坐)

Sitting, Stilling in Schools, Societies, and Systems

  Good morning!   We have now very good weather and world after sitting and service. Yesterday I forwarded articles on school meditation to our listserv. We hope more schools, societies, and systems of life learn meditation and live with … Continue reading

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Free Full Form Function

      Good morning!   Last night I forwarded to our listserv my translation of the Fukanzazengi (A Universal Recommendation for True Zazen) now available in free pdf format from the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (Association for the Promotion of … Continue reading

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Still Sitting Is Supreme, Subtlest Seal

    Good morning!   After sittings, we have now a calm, cool, and clear morning. Earlier we could see mist with the refreshed green grass and trees. Rain in the last few days has given plants and animals respite from the spell of dry weather, though it was with unseasonably cool and comfortable temperatures.   There are five peach trees in my yard, each different — the biggest one leaning to avoid the shade of a cherry tree, the next biggest broken at its root , the next one uprooted (both by laden snow, but survived), the next one freed from its net yesterday, and the smallest one remains the same as when it had been transplanted.   Dr. Suzuki of Ability Education, Mother Tongue Method, says that every child grows great and becomes a genius, and that it solely depends on how it is fostered. The five principles of ability are better environment, better method, better instructor, an earlier start, and more practice.     He says that there is no growth of what is not in the environment. We have the Triple Treasure of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. It’s never too late, but only practice makes perfect. The Buddha heart seal, sitting, is the supreme method of settling in wholly wholesome truth and peace, like trees.   8/10/14            

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    Good morning!     We have a beautiful Sunday in sesshin, with a lot of beautiful flowers and lush greenery around us. Sesshin (摂心) is embracing the heart/mind, like a turtle embracing limbs and head within its shell, without wandering around and working with leaks. Sesshin (接心) also means touching the heart/mind, like touching ice or fire directly witnessing it, though usually we live using almost automatic responses with small selfish karmas without a great, mature, and joyful heart/mind.     I have been watching a baby grow from a helpless state to one of more developed and controlled sense and motor organs, with attention and actions, crying, calling, contacting, coordinating, articulating, identifying, distinguishing, and separating. Alienation creates egoism, exploitative economies, and an exploited ecology – now global warming (as the Buddha said, “The world ablaze, as eyes ablaze, ears…”), the Stolen Future  (as he said, “Parents lost in the desert eat the son’s flesh”), etc.     We must make a paradigm shift, as we are at the critical cliff of catastrophic mass extinction – due to us, for us. The Buddha opened the gate of amrita, ambrosia, immortality, for all to sit, stop karmas, and see the Dharma of Dependent Origination. Zazen is to witness the Dharma domain/body before our parents giving birth to us. Schumacher recommended a Buddhist economy in his book Small Is  Beautiful, telling us to cultivate “small desire to know satisfaction.”     The Four Holy Truths tell us of suffering, the source of it (craving), the cessation of it … Continue reading

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Thusness and Thus-being

Good evening!   We are going to read Dogen’s Inmo, Such(ness), a Sino-Japanese word. Its equivalent in Sanskrit or Pali is Tathatâ, Thusness. Both are expressions for the reality beyond description and discrimination.   Dogen’s Universal Recommendation for True Zazen … Continue reading

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Shikantaza Is Sincere Straight Sitting

Good evening!   We have now a strong, chilly wind blowing. Shikantaza is not just simple sitting, but total sitting, settling in the dharma, resting in unconditioned peace, recognizing the ultimate truth, unmoved by the wind of karma.   12/20/12 … Continue reading

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